Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life


Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life written by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm, illustrated by Molly Bang

This book’s brightly colored pictures not only describe photosynthesis to children, but it also tells why it is important to us and our planet.

The Sun tells the story of photosynthesis by starting off describing itself and what it does for Earth. “My light becomes the energy for all life on Earth.” It goes on to describe photosynthesis in green plants. “Plants suck up water-H2O-from the Earth. In daylight, green plants catch my energy with their chlorophyll.” It also goes on to tell us different reasons why it is important that we know about it, “All the oxygen you living creatures breathe comes from green plants.” There is a notes page in the back of the book that helps to describe photosynthesis in more detail and gives additional information that can be looked at for furthering the education on photosynthesis.

Curriculum Connections
Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life is a great resource for teaching photosynthesis. It helps students understand the process that is involved and how photosynthesis is involved in the life cycle. It is connected to VA SOL 4.4 (c). The student will investigate and understand basic plant anatomy and life processes including photosynthesis (sunlight, chlorophyll, water, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and sugar).

Additional Resources

  • For a lesson plan on photosynthesis check out A Beginning Look at Photosynthesis: Plants Need Light.
  • A simple explanation is made in the podcast Photosynthesis. There are a few different podcasts on the same page, but just scroll down to the heading of photosynthesis and you will be able to listen to the podcast as you watch some visuals.
  • This is a photosynthesis worksheet where they can label some parts of photosynthesis.
  • Even though the Photosynthesis Rap may be a little advanced, it is catchy and it may spark some curiosity in your students. Even if you don’t want to play the entire song, the first verse and chorus would still be helpful.
  • The photosynthesis activity on Newton’s Apple will take a few days to see the results, but it will be worth it.

Book: Living Sunlight How Planets Bring the Earth to Life
Author: Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
Illustrator: Molly Bang
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 40 pages
Grade Range: 1-6
ISBN: 9780545044226

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